My Sister's Keeper [Blu-Ray] Nick Cassavetes

My Sister's Keeper [Blu-Ray] Nick Cassavetes
In the opening voiceover from 11-year-old Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin), she mocks the romanticism of procreation, stating that most babies come from a night of binge drinking, while she was created in a test tube as a means for spare parts for her leukaemia-suffering, moribund sister. It's veiled with chick-flick images and soft sounds, masking the uncompromising frankness, but this matter-of-fact handling of both death and human delusion shapes My Sister's Keeper as much more than a twee melodrama, deeply understanding the variables of familial complexity and suffering. Based on Jodi Picoult's successful novel, this tale of familial struggle examines what happens when Anna, born specifically to help medically with her ailing sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), begins to understand the lifelong repercussions of giving up a kidney. Seeking legal representation from the famed Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) in order to obtain medical emancipation, Anna uproots the fragile emotional balance of her family, leaving her single-minded mother Sara (Cameron Diaz) enraged and on the defensive. While this could easily unfold as movie-of-the-week hokum, a narrative that holds back character motivations, jumps through time and veers off track to tell contextually relevant tales gives the film a cinematic fervour, mirroring the touching with the disturbingly real. Kate's battle is never glossed over, as we watch her deteriorate, dabble with suicide, crap the bed, puke up blood and accept mortal thoughts. And while we never question that these people love each other, a tendency to mirror the lighter moments with hostility and rage keeps things just shy of saccharine. The only thing threatening to derail these many strengths is an overly cloying soundtrack that ramps up every time we're treated to a slow motion reaction shot. This calculated measure is unfortunate, as the material and strong performances ― in particular from Vassilieva, Diaz and Joan Cusack ― work enough magic on their own. In addition to a 1080p High Definition transfer, the Blu-Ray includes a bounty of deleted scenes and an interview with Jodi Picoult, discussing the nature of film adaptation. (Warner)